April 2, 2021 3:49:51 am
Unlike her two main contenders – Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari — who move in a convoy of at least 50 cars, CPI(M) candidate Minakshi Mukherjee hopped from one polling booth to another on Thursday in a small car accompanied by just two party workers.
Mukherjee (37), who is the joint candidate of the Left Front, Congress and ISF, kept a low profile as she stepped out of her residence early in the morning to ensure that everyone cast their votes.
At many places, she met the voters on their way to booths and asked them whether they exercised their franchise or not, and whether they were under any threat.
“We were successful in making more people came out of their homes without fear and cast their vote – something which Nandigram had not seen in many years. This is our win. But, we cannot say that polling was fully free and peaceful. People backed our demands and we will continue our fight,” Mukherjee told The Indian Express after the polling wrapped up in Nandigram.
According to a local CPM leader, Mukherjee was able to visit almost all booths of Nandigram-I block and more than half of the booths in Nandigram-II block.
However, sources in the party said lack of party organisation in Nandigram was a major hurdle in providing adequate support and manpower to a candidate like Mukherjee. “We were not able to recover our organisational strength. We assumed that the Indian Secular Front (ISF) would give us huge support but on the poll day they were not able to provide us the kind of support that they did during the campaign,” a local CPI(M) leader said. “We are expecting more minority votes in our favour this time,” the leader added.
A Masters in Political Science, Mukherjee was a member of CPM’s student wing SFI in her university days.
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